Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets continues its progress toward reducing the company’s overall environmental impact, achieving its goal of a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The company’s progress is reported in the new 2020 Sustainability Report: Weis by Nature. Progress includes new partnerships to divert food waste from landfills, innovative measures to reduce truck fleet fuel consumption and a continued focus on conserving resources and reducing waste in Weis Markets stores.
The report also highlights the company’s commitments to the communities it serves during COVID-19, including growing the donation program to more than $3 million and nearly 2.3 million pounds of food donated, with an expansion to dairy and frozen items to those most impacted by the pandemic. The company also continued its Weis By Nature and Low, Low Price programs, which help customers to save money.
“Against the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, our associates continued to make incredible progress to operate efficiently by reducing waste and conserving energy in our stores, while also providing the necessary support to our communities when they needed it the most,” said Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We are making continued progress toward our sustainability goals, and we will continue to invest in our program to reduce our overall environmental impact.”
Key Weis Markets sustainability achievements in 2020 include:
- Diverting 9.355 tons of food waste from landfills following the EPA’s Food Recover Hierarchy, an increase of 35 percent over 2019. This includes:
- Donating more than 1,146 tons of food-to-food banks, an increase of nearly 30 percent since 2019;
- Repurposing 1,360 tons of food waste to rationed cattle feed, more than double the previous year;
- Recycling more than 3,575 tons of meat trimmings, fats, oils and grease, which is 1,000 tons more than 2019; and
- Composting 1,212 tons of food waste, a reduction due to the increased diversion to feed animals, which is a preferred use.
- Reducing carbon emissions by 27.4 percent compared to 2008, surpassing its 20 percent reduction goal.
- Making progress in its recycling program, which includes recycling:
- 1,335 tons of plastics, 4.3 percent more than 2019;
- 358 tons of scrap metal, 133 percent more than 2019;
- 31,815 paper and cardboard, 11 percent more than 2019; and
- 939 tons of plastic bags, 4.6 percent more than 2019.
- Earning Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program recognition for outstanding refrigerant management in 11 stores. The program encourages reducing refrigerant usage to address environmental impacts on the ozone layer and climate.
- Making progress in the green design of its stores, reducing overall energy usage per square foot by 4 percent. This includes:
- Reducing energy by 21 million kWh, enough to charge 1.9 billion smartphones; and
- Adding energy-efficient LED lighting to 50 stores.
- Continuing to upgrade the company’s fleet to meet energy efficiency standards, replacing 27 oldest tractors with 2021 vehicles and ensuring all of its trucks are model year 2016 or newer.
Weis Markets’ 2020 Sustainability Report: Weis By Nature is available at weismarkets.com/sustainability.